Make a Career Change in 7 Easy Steps

Humans are creatures of habit, but when it comes to our careers, repetition of “the daily grind” can leave us feeling uninspired and stagnant. Throughout our lifetimes, we continuously grow and evolve, acquiring various skills or honing natural talents. You might find that, as you expand and better yourself, you need to also seek other career paths that will allow you to prosper. Whether you are looking to transfer to a different department, change companies within your industry, or switch one career for another entirely, it doesn’t have to be a daunting process. Here are some things to keep in mind as you undertake what may be your most challenging, yet rewarding, career move:

1. Ask Yourself “Why?”

Are you feeling restless in your current position or frustrated with lacking advancement opportunities? At times, we simply outgrow our roles; in other cases, career change is necessary due to family matters or circumstances beyond our control. Take time to really consider why you want, and believe you are ready for, a big change. A solid “why” will help drive you forward, even when the transition gets tough.

2. Figure Out the “Whats”

What do you already know about your freshly chosen career? What connections do you have in the field? What skills can you take with you from your current position, and will you need to master to be successful at your future position?

In addition to asking yourself what your strengths and weaknesses are, also consider this: What does your success look like? Where do you want to see yourself in five years? In ten? How is your selected path going to get you there?

3. Make a Plan

Now that the biggest questions are nailed down, it’s time to put together an action plan. Making incremental steps toward success instead of taking a giant leap can mitigate the internal voice saying there’s so much to do and keep your career pivot from being overwhelming. Accomplishing daily tasks and knocking out small, short-term goals will generate more momentum toward overall success.

At this point, you may consider bringing in a professional. A career coach may think of ‘to-do’ items for your plan, help organize your transition timeline, or guide you through breaking big tasks into smaller, manageable chunks.

4. Track Your Progress

Even a great plan is an intangible dream without keeping track of your accomplishments. Using a program like Excel or Google Sheets lets you mark off your progress from virtually anywhere. More of a paper person? Keeping a small notebook specifically for your career goals is another way to see what you’ve done and what you have yet to do. No matter what method you choose, check off every step you make toward your goals, and don’t forget to roll-over any remaining tasks at the end of the week.

5. Get an Accountability Partner

Want to see yourself progress even faster? Find someone whom you trust — maybe it’s a friend in the middle of their own career switch, or maybe it’s a close colleague or mentor — and divulge your action plan and goals with them. Check in with them weekly or bi-weekly to discuss how far you’ve come and what your next steps are.

6. Change Your Attitude

Chances are, if you’re unsatisfied with your current position, you may not have the brightest outlook. It’s important to keep your attitude upbeat and professional at all times. Just because you are a high level employee at your current position doesn’t mean you’ll enter your new career at that level. You may have to work your way up again. Staying humble and open to advice from people in the industry you wish to move to will help immensely.

7. Achieve Success

Naturally, finding a job at a new company is the initial step toward success, but don’t stop there! Ahead of you are new skills and programs to master, new connections to build and foster among your new colleagues, and new opportunities to explore. After you’ve been hired, it’s time to reevaluate what your future goals are and what success looks like within your new position. You’ve broken into a new industry or career path: celebrate that success, but acknowledge it is only the start of a brand new beginning.

With these steps in mind, you’ll have a roadmap to your ideal destination, a place which will bring you happiness, prosperity, and a sense of satisfaction you may be lacking at the beginning of your career pivot journey.

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About the Author:


Tristina Marx is a blog contributor for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career focused topics.




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